Wednesday, June 12, 2019



My dad was an extraordinary man. He was nurturing, loving, compassionate and sensitive and an amazing role model. He was involved in every day parenting and shared his knowledge in everything from world politics to how to fish, make a toolbox out of wood or how to play a guitar. Not all children have such an advantage - with some not even knowing the identity or whereabouts of their biological father.

Merriam Webster defines a father as “one who has begotten a child, whether son or daughter, a generator; a male parent…A male ancestor; a progenitor…One who performs the offices of a parent by maintenance, affectionate care, counsel or protection.” This seems inclusive of biological and adoptive fathers or others who serve in that role. They are the men who raise children on a day-to-day basis, those who are biologically connected to them as well as others who play a significant role in a child life - older male siblings, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, caregivers, teachers and neighbors.

Often, while adoptive parents will give a child information on a birthmother, they do not discuss the birthfather. It may be that they don’t have enough information. Does this mean it shouldn’t be discussed? Not at all. As a child grows and understands “where babies come from”, they will most likely become curious about their birthfather. It is Interesting to note that in adoption the wording “where babies come from” is more the case than “how babies are made”.

Whatever you decide to call him, a child’s birth father is a part of their biology. Your child may exhibit some of their biological father’s physical characteristics, personality and talents. Rather than deny his existence, it helps your child understand the role of all of the adults that influenced their life as to where a trait or interest comes from. Doing so does not diminish an adoptive father’s role or influence in a child’s life. Rather it reinforces a child’s ability to speak openly to share their feelings and to receive support from those around them.

On this Father’s Day, consider talking to your child about the men in their lives that make a difference. Who they like spending time with or who they wish they knew better - whether it’s a real person or a superhero.

My dad was always there for me. Sometimes, we sat in silence with our own thoughts. Mostly, he listened, reflected, asked me for my opinion and pointed me in the right direction. Over the years, I knew he wanted the best for me, even if we disagreed. I hope all children have such a caring and devoted man in their lives. If not a father – a father figure. Someone to watch over and guide, love and cherish, teach and encourage.

To all the men who are biologically connected or are a part of a child’s life - Happy Father’s Day.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared  thousands of adoption  homestudies, counseled  expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and  adopted  persons, as  well  as trained  professionals  to  work  with  adoptive  families. She  was Director of the  Ametz  Adoption  Program of  JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption  Series and the  Adoption  Advisory  Board  of  Path2Parenthood, She is currently a  Adoption   Professional   Advisory  Council  of  HelpUSAdopt , a member of the Advisory Board of the Family Equality Council and  active  in  the  Adoptive Parents Committee in  New  York.  Her  blogs  and  written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including  her  BLOG  and  as  Head  Writer  for  ADOPTION.NET   She  was  named  an  “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly